Tuesday, May 2, 2017


May is Food Allergy Awareness Month, a topic of particular interest to our family as my daughter has a severe peanut allergy. I have to embarrassingly admit not knowing much on the topic before the fateful day when we discovered my daughter's medical condition after she went into anaphylactic shock and came very close to dying. If you haven't previously read about our family's experience with food allergies, here is my post about it.

With 1 in 13 children now suffering from food allergies it really is important for people to have a basic understanding of the condition and understand this is is not a joking matter even though you often see television and shows use it as the topic of comedy sketches. Yes I'm talking about you Big Bang Theory!  There is a really good chance that even if someone in your direct circle of friends and families doesn't have a food allergy you will be interacting with someone at some point who does.  Food allergies are a series, potentially life threatening medical condition.  Since I didn't know much about food allergies until they impacted my family, I  understand how easily others can be in the dark about them as well.  So please take a moment to learn some tips about dealing with food allergies this month as a favor to this food allergy dad.

As part of Food Allergy Awareness Month, PBS KIDS is releasing ALL ABOUT ALLERGIES a DVD collection of shows from some of its most popular animated series that all have allergies as a topic. These episodes are a great way for children and their parents to learn about food allergies. Young viewers can join Binky as he works to understand his peanut allergy in an ARTHUR story, and Daniel Tiger as he tries a peach for the first time and gets hives leading to the discovery he's allergic to the fruit.

The DVD also features a WORD WORLD story in which Pig struggles to tell his friends that he is allergice to peaches after Sheep and Dog bring over a bag of fruit for him to make into pies. I was a bit disappointed PBS included a PEG + CAT episode on pet allergies because it can cause confusion with the food allergy messages.  Also the WORD WORLD episode doesn't really explain food allergies correctly which is troubling because people don't sneeze in those circumstances when having a reaction they break out in hives or start having issues with their body swelling up. Overall though this is a very nice collection of shows that provide very valuable information in an entertaining format.

ALL ABOUT ALLERGIES will be available at retailers across the United States beginning May 9, 2017. It has a run time of approximately 70 minutes. The DVD features five stories from four of PBS KIDS television including these two standout episodes:

ARTHUR --  Binky Goes Nuts

When Binky discovers that he’s allergic to peanuts, he has so many questions: will he be forced to live without Chinese food? Will he ever again be able to eat with his friends? And most importantly, will his Mom ever calm down? Binky learns that the best way not to go nuts is to be well informed, and to understand his allergy.

PBS KIDS also has a special website filled with peanut allergy information and tips revolving around the episode.  CLICK HERE to check it out.  They also partnered with Cherrybrook Kitchen to create a line of ARTHUR themed snacks including brownies and cookies that are peanut allergy safe to eat.

When Daniel tries a peach for the first time, he learns he is allergic to the fruit. Dad and Doctor Anna take care of him, and Doctor Anna tells Daniel how he can take care of himself, too.

For more useful information about food allergies, please visit Kids With Food Allergies or FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).  Plus here is an informative video on the topic:

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